Hello, all! I had originally planned to do this post about not objectifying women, but after accidentally reading a few trashy YA books, God has put a different type of a no objectification post on my heart… today I am going to be talking about objectifying men in YA, or rather why we should stop objectifying men. So yes, this post is more directed to our lady authors and readers, but you guys can read too if y'all want.
Do you know what one of the most annoying things in YA is?
It's when for some reason the main guy character can't seem to ever find his shirt. Now, this use to annoy me more than it does now, because now I go to a church with only teenage guys and I'm pretty much by myself. And the guys I know have a habit of taking off their shirts every chance they get, I don't know why… but it is summer in Texas, so the less clothes the better. If I was a guy I probably would take off my shirt too. So it doesn't annoy me that much, because guys do go shirtless a lot.
But sometimes I'll be reading a book and in one paragraph the guy is wearing a shirt, and then in the next it's just gone… no explanation, nothing. And then the girl character is just drooling over the male character's six pack.
That's just annoying. Stop it.
And then every time the main guy character has his shirt off, the girl is just oogling him. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
I don't think that's really realistic. But I most likely wouldn't know, because I'm not boy crazy, I’ve only had two crushes and I don't really notice most guys past friendship…
But since guys have taken off their shirts in front of me before I can admit that I do notice if they're muscular or not muscular, flabby or not flabby, etc. Because I'm a writer and an artist and I just naturally observe most things. And usually I just think something along the lines of, Oh, he has a four pack, cool. And move on, because I personally don't care. But having guy friends, I don't even notice if they're shirtless anymore because it's the norm. Seriously, one time I was playing a game at my youth group and I ran into one of my guy friends, and I grabbed his shoulder to stable myself and that's when I noticed that he was shirtless because I was wondering why I was touching skin… apparently he had been shirtless all night. And I didn't even notice, because he's always shirtless so I don't care anymore.
But in books the girl is always, always surprised at how muscular the fellow is. And I don't know… as I said before, I'm not boy crazy, maybe these girls are...but it just seems like they would get use to it and shrug it off as a normal thing. Idk. Maybe not…
BUT STILL. It's objectifying. Men are not meat, women are not cake, can we stop acting this way? And writing this way?
I read YA books and the only thing that the girl protagonist ever really notices about the boy protagonist is abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, hair, eyes, height, lips, etc. BUT IT'S ALL ONLY SUPERFICIAL THINGS. And stuff like this is super normal to read in YA, but just imagine how everyone would react if there was a popular book series where the guy protagonist is always objectifying the girl protagonist. And the girl is always in a bikini. And the only thing the guy ever cares to notice about her is boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, butt, legs, eyes, lips, etc.
There would be riots. Feminists would be burning said book in the streets. Christians and Catholics would boycott it and speak up against it like it was Fifty Shades of Grey.
So why is it okay to do the same exact thing to a guy?
Is it because we think they're lesser?
That they're easier to objectify?
That they don't have feelings too?
Whatever the reason, it irritates me. Men are human too. They deserve to be treated with respect in books, movies, music, etc. Just like women do.
But so often they're not. And no one ever stands up for them. You see plenty of feminists fighting against slut shaming, but do you ever see feminists fighting against calling guys names like that for guys? No. Not really.
Do you see Christians, Catholics, and everyone else who loves the Lord boycotting a book because a guy is only valued by his six pack? No. Not really.
I think that so many times we think that it's somehow okay to objectify men. And that's wrong. It's so, so wrong. And sad.
I hate how guys are so often misrepresented in YA. So often I read books that show them to be sex-crazed maniacs and jerks. And although I have met some guys like that, I have also met some girls who are just as bad.
Guys are more than meat.
They are more than jerks who only want sex.
And people who think that clearly don't bother to get to know any males.
They have hopes, dreams, goals, ambitions. They are so much more than just a body.
Girls, we don't want to be objectified. So why do we seem to always do this to guys?
Together we can stop this. Together we can make a difference. Stop objectifying. #RebelliousWriting